Hair loss is one of those problems that put people in a state of sheer desperation. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, the sight of bald patches on your head is one that is more suitable in nightmares than in real life. Unfortunately, balding at an early age is an inconvenient reality for millions of people around the world. As a matter of fact, hair loss and balding has been a problem that human beings have suffered from for hundreds and thousands of years. Despite the massive developments in medical science and technology, most people are yet to have access to effective hair loss treatments.
People of the 21st century can at least take comfort in the fact that there are doctors and professional hair loss consultants who can help them in their uphill battle against hair loss. However, back in the older days, when medical science was still shrouded in endless layers of mystery, people had very little clue about how to solve the hair loss quandary. This forced them to resort to some bizarre hair loss remedies. Most of the remedies were not highly effective, but they were certainly outrageously creative.
The following is a list of the five most eccentric anti-hair loss practices in the history of human civilization.
1) Cleopatra’s Home Remedy
Julius Caesar and Cleopatra were passionate lovers who seemed to trust each other blindly. However, their faith in each other kind of went overboard when Cleopatra came up with a bizarre solution for Caesar’s receding hair lines and bald patches. Out of all the things that this Egyptian royalty could have suggested as a remedy, she recommended a home-made concoction of ground-up mice, horse teeth and bear grease. Having any one of those three despicable items would make most men throw up in their mouths. However, Caesar being the dedicated lover and courageous leader that he was, took the advice of his beautiful Cleopatra and tried having this repugnant homemade remedy for quite some time. Thankfully for him, and for the rest of bald humanity, the homemade remedy had little effect and was eventually discarded.
2) Snake Oil
Most people would cringe at the idea of using any product that is made from snakes. However, since balding makes people desperate, it does not come as much of a surprise that back in the 19th century snake oil was sold door to door as a remedy for hair loss. Swindlers guised as snake oil salesmen and doctors would walk around public places and go into people’s residences in an effort to sell them the “magical snake oil” that apparently had the cure to all ailments, including hair loss. Interestingly, a lot of people bought into this farce and were ready to pay good money for specially formulated tonics that were dubbed as the ultimate cure to baldness and hair loss. One such snake oil product was marketed and promoted by a group of extremely popular and famous sideshow performers who had long, cascading hair and were called the Seven Sutherland Sisters.
3) Crosley Corporation’s Xervac
Back in the early 20th century, Crosley Corporation earned quite a fair bit of reputation as a radio and automobile manufacturer. For some unexplained reason, they decided to take their focus off engineering and concentrate on infiltrating the personal care market through the introduction of the Xervac. The Xervac was basically a machine that used the mechanism of suction to generate hair growth and help people overcome the challenges of hair loss. Back in the time, this seemed like a very technologically advanced solution to hair loss. It had the appearance of a helmet cased vacuum pump and was advertised to work wonders on the hair follicles. Unfortunately, its ineffectiveness became evident quite soon.
If you thought that the Xervac was bizarre, wait till you meet the Thermocap. Much like the Xervac, the Thermocap was a 20th century product of people’s growing interest in developing hi-tech solutions for physical ailments, including hair loss. It was launched by the Allied Merke Institute in 1920s. Anyone who was suffering from thinning hair was advised to spend 15 minutes of their day under the Thermocap device which resembled a bonnet. According to the theory of the manufacturers, this device was supposed to stimulate the inert hair bulbs under the scalp. Nearly hundred years later, people look back at the Thermocap as one of the most embarrassing failures of the 20th century.
5) Hippocrates’ Anti Hair Loss Concoction
The Greek intellectuals loved to experiment with new ideas. Men like Hippocrates, were devoted to the cause of breaking new ground in the field of medical science. With this objective in mind, Hippocrates came up with an anti hair loss concoction made of opium, beetroot, spices, horseradish and pigeon droppings (yes, you read that last part right). To the dismay of Hippocrates, the potion made of pigeon droppings seemed to have zero effect on hair loss.